Men’s basketball narrowly misses the NWC playoffs
By Abe Field /// Senior Staff Writer
As the school year returns to it’s natural ebb and flow, the men’s basketball team has been hard at work over winter break. It has been an eventful break for the Pioneers, who played a total of six games over the course of vacation. The Pioneers currently holds a record of 9-13 overall, and 5-9 in the conference. This puts the team in 6th place in the Pacific Northwest Conference. After a heartbreaking, 66-65, loss to Pacific Lutheran on Saturday the 13th, the Pioneers have been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Pioneers have had a memorable but grueling season. The starting point guard for the team, Markel Leonard ‘17, talked about one of his favorite memories from this season. “We came back and beat PLU on the road and were down double digits with a couple minutes left in the game,” Leonard recalled. “It showed how resilient the team is, but the best part about this year has been being around such a great group of guys all year.”
Ten of the 13 games that the Pios lost this season were lost by less than nine points.
As a team, the Pios have shot 43.3% from the field and 36.1% from behind the three point line. Cannen Roberson ’17 lead the team with 15.4 points per game, while Leonard lead the team in field goals made with 79.3% of his shots made.
The team also got a sizeable contribution from their new freshman additions. Kupa’a Harrison ’19, a guard from Kailua, Hawaii, averaged 3.6 points on 13.5 minutes per game. Kyle Owens ’19, a guard from Los Altos, California, averaged 4.4 points on 10.8 minutes per game. Dinari Foreman said of the freshman class, “The work of our five freshmen on and off the court has been superb. Our older guys have done a great job all year of mentoring these young people.”
The Pios are coached by the aforementioned Dinari Foreman, a LC alumnus who was inducted into the LC Hall of Fame in 2005. Foreman has been coaching the Pioneers since 2001, and took over the head coaching job in 2011. When asked about his team’s progress as the season has gone on, Foreman was blunt. “We have battled with a bit of injury and sickness in the beginning of the season, so the guys are progressing well towards the end of the season. We are defending at a high level and rebounding a bunch better than early in the season. We have to continue our work finding shots for teammates and helping each other better defensively.”
With two games left in their season, the Pioneers have been eliminated from playoff tournament contention for the first time in the five year tenure of Coach Foreman. The Pioneers head down to Willamette tonight (Feb. 19) and will be back home on Saturday night for their senior night celebration. Come out and support the Pioneers for their last game of the season as they take on Pacific!